As of the 11th of October 2023, with the ongoing tensions between Israel and Palestine having the potential to escalate within the region many have reached out to ask if Middle East travel and tours will be affected? The truth is that it depends greatly on the destination and what happens over the coming days and weeks.
What is happening between Israel and Palestine?
We will largely steer clear of this political hornets’ nest, but to cut a long story short Hamas, a Sunni Islamist political and military organization that is the de facto government of Palestine within the Gaza Strip attacked Israel, and Israel have responded with heavy force. This has led some to believe that other local actors will be dragged in, not to mention the fact that it has angered many in the Middle East.
The question now is how much of a knock-on effect that it will have on Middle East Tours.
Short-term affects to Middle East Tours
In the short term at least things for our Middle Eastern tours at least are “normal”, this is mainly because we do not have anything planned in either Israel, or Palestine.
The larger worries though come from those state that border Israel and Palestine, such as Lebanon, Syria and Jordon. Lebanon in particular could be affected, particularly if Hezbollah get involved, but again it is too early to say. We would certainly amend our itineraries at the very least.
Syria of course is and always is a unique case and one where we regularly seek out and receive local advice.
Egypt and EDEX Arms Fair are also potential trouble spots, with Egypt protesting today about Israel bombing the border post between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Again, while we view it as unlikely, Egyptian involvement and, or troubles within the region cannot be ruled out.
While no country on the region is likely to be completely “unaffected” due to people protesting, usually in support of Palestine there are areas that will be much less affected than others.
Other examples of ability are Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, with YPT still planning to run these tours very much as planned.
Should you travel to the Middle-East right now?
As with travel to anywhere it is important to follow reveal advice, not just from us, but also independent sources. Where you are going is also a huge factor.
Morally whether you go is down to your own perceptions, but we certainly feel that engagement is far more productive than ignoring a whole region, its people and their views.
You can check out our Middle East Travel packages here.